Bookish Brains Issue 7

Letter from the Editor:

May is always a hectic time of year for me, though I’m surprised to see it ending so quickly! This past month, I participated in Cindy’s Asian Readathon, and so for the month of May I primarily read books with Asian authors, including those with Chinese, Taiwanese, Indian, Iranian, and Vietnamese backgrounds. In this issue of Bookish Brains, I feature mini book reviews for Stargazing by Jen Wang, Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker, Bestiary by K-Ming Chang, and Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi.

In other news, I also made a bookish Tumblr (a booklr, if you will), so if you would like to follow Slanted Spines on Tumblr, you can check out my page! So far, I mostly use it to post quotes from the books I read, cross-promote my website and YouTube channel, and post photos. It’s been a lot of fun and quite the throwback, as I spent a good deal of my adolescence on Tumblr–and it hasn’t changed much since then, thankfully.

This month, I also made a personal goal of donating to a charity or organization every time I buy books. I spent about $45 on books in May, so I donated the same amount to a GoFundMe for rebuilding Samir Mansour’s bookstore in Gaza. Not only will this motivate me to be cautious about buying books if it’s not in the budget, but it will also help me keep up with charitable practices throughout the entire year.

Hope you also had a quality reading month!

Cheers!
-B.C.

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Bookish Brains Issue 6

Letter from the Editor:

Spring is upon us, and I hope you’ve been reading some lovely books lately! I had a month full of good reads, and as always I’m happy to share my thoughts with you. In this issue of Bookish Brains, I’ve included book reviews for No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood, Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi, The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins, and How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps her House by Cherie Jones. Plus, I give a sneak peek at my May TBR and shout out a few upcoming book releases!

During April, I also received some exciting news: I was accepted into a Master’s program for Library and Information Science! Last week I registered for classes, so this fall I will be attending school again. Through this experience, I’m seeking a career in the library systems, and I couldn’t be more excited. When I was a teenager, I worked for a couple years at a shelver at my local library and loved it. So it’s been a rewarding month and I feel grateful for this opportunity.

Wishing you a beautiful, blooming May! Please leave a comment and let me know what your favorite read from April was; I would love to hear about it.

Cheers!
-B.C.

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Homegoing: A Book Review

A Book Review of Homegoing

After reading Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi earlier this year, I was extremely interested in reading her previous debut novel, Homegoing, which tells the fictional stories of two half-sisters born in separate villages in eighteenth-century Ghana and their respective descendants.

And as though I weren’t already excited enough to read it, when I opened up to the first few pages and saw a family tree chart, I became even more hyped– who doesn’t love a book with a chart?

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Bookish Brains Issue 4

Letter from the Editor:

Greetings! Even though February is the shortest month of the year, I still managed to read several amazing works. In honor of it being Black History Month, I exclusively read Black-authored books. Not just this month, but year-round as well, I think we should generally aim to uplift the marginalized voices which so often have been ignored throughout history.

In this issue of Bookish Brains, I will be sharing reviews for The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi, Black Boy Out of Time by Hari Ziyad, the March comic trilogy written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, and Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde, as well as my currently-reading thoughts on Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin and my reading plans for March! Cheers!

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The Death of Vivek Oji: A Book Review

“They burned down the market on the day Vivek Oji died.”

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi begins with this evocative line. Vivek’s death is certain, yet the circumstances surrounding that death are hazy: the body is left upon Vivek’s parents’ house, stripped and battered, leaving mother Kavita with devastated questions and father Chika with a gap in his heart. What happened to Vivek? And moreover, who was Vivek?

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Bookish Brains Issue 3

Letter from the Editor:

Happy 2021! I hope your reading year has begun on a good foot; if not, there are still eleven months to sink your teeth into delicious literature!

The very first book I read this year was Garfield Sits at Home (#7), a comic strip book. I think I find that cynical, chunky feline even funnier as an adult now that I “manage” two cats of my own, who both certainly have distinct attitudes. After that first booklet, I read two more Garfield collections because that was exactly what I needed at the beginning of this month.

Aside from misadventures in Jon’s household, I’ve also read a few other incredible books, which I’m excited to write about! In today’s issue of Bookish Brains, I’m discussing Luster by Raven Leilani, Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert, In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado, and Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi, as well as my current reads The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune and The Shining by Stephen King.

Moving forward, I plan to publish these issues of Bookish Brains on the last Friday of every month and use the opportunity to summarize the month’s reading. Hope you enjoy!

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2020 Reading Highlights

In 2019, I read fifteen books. The year before that, I may have read five books. But in 2020, I read 74 books, and I think we all know why.

Of those 74 books, I would like to highlight some of the best, worst, and in between, that I think are worth recommending or warning others about. So, behold! The Slanted Spines Reading Awards!

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Bookish Brains Issue 2

Letter from the Editor:

The end of the year is swiftly approaching and only two more Fridays remain in 2020! This will be the last edition of Bookish Brains until 2021 and features a list of the books I’m trying to read before the end of the year, as well as brief reviews of They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Real Life by Brandon Taylor, and Parakeet by Marie-Helene Bertino. I’m aiming to end the year with the best of the best, so perhaps you will find some recs! Enjoy!

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Bookish Brains Issue 1

Letter from the Editor:

When I was in elementary school and created my first email address, I founded an indie newsletter called The Goofball Times. Essentially, it was a weekly periodical comprised of weather reports, sports updates, a joke section, a creative writing portion, and whatever other current events I decided to include. I couldn’t have done it alone, though—I outsourced various research to my friends at the time; for example, Steve was in charge of emailing me the joke before the deadline. Then, I would send the completed newsletter via email to a handful of friends and family.

I don’t recall how many issues The Goofball Times ran, although my mother has them all printed out and filed away, my old email address now defunct. However, it was a noteworthy first attempt which naturally led to my later intrigue with running a blog, because, despite the drama of my friends missing deadlines or shirking their “commitment to the newsletter,” I had a lot of fun with it, and so did my charmed readers.

Now, I recollect that project with oozing fondness, and, inspired by the “me” of the early 2000’s, I would now like to launch a new series on my blog entitled Bookish Brains; this will be a brief collection of reading updates, including the materials I’m reading and reviewing, as well as what’s happening in the bookish-sphere.

Cheers!

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